There is no earthly thing that can take the pain away of your child’s death.
I have read story after story of many, specifically mothers, who need this validation. Because for the most part, they are not hearing it from anyone else.
In fact, they feel distanced from people who were once a part of their lives. And it is not the mothers who are creating the distance.
It’s not that mothers want someone to fuss over them. It’s that for some unknown reason, if their child’s death wasn’t enough to grieve about, friends, family, and church family distance themselves.
It’s almost as if they are too close, they will catch something.
The reality of death? The reality of knowing their child could die, too?
And so a second layer of grief is added to the first layer.
Grieving a child’s death is different than any other grieving. Every time a well-meaning person says, “at least you have good memories”, “death is death” (no, suicide is different), or any other statement to bring comfort, it is literally like pouring salt in a wound.
I think the hardest thing is for mothers who are part of a church family. I’ve read their stories. How is it that the very people who should know what to say … don’t know what to say? Or say the wrong things?
And then, instead of acknowledging this ineptness, the grieving mother is told “well, people don’t know what to say or do”.
You mean those who profess to know God, filled with the Holy Spirit, going out into all the world to preach the gospel – some believing in the mandate to heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out devils – don’t know what to say to a heartbroken mother? Distance themselves? And God forbid, talk about her behind her back?
She’s not the same.
I often think about Jesus’ words to us: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.
Perhaps the most important thing we should be doing in our churches today is that.
We do so many other things that we deem as our love for God and ignore what might take more of a commitment. More compassion. More understanding. More patience.
This has to be on God’s heart. Just read the letters to the churches in the book of Revelation.
Many are shipwrecked in their faith because of this further grief.
It’s not God’s fault. I know, the church represents God. But it is not yet perfect.
So we look to God for all that he promises for broken hearts.
We trust he is bigger than us and develop that relationship with him.
I promise, he will help you.
There is no earthly thing that can take away the pain of your child’s death.
7 thoughts on “no earthly thing.”
After Jason died, I felt like the traveler in the parable of the good Samaritan in Luke 10, beaten to a pulp by Jason’s death and lying on the side of the road while many of the Christian people we knew crossed to the other side of the street to avoid us (or ducked down the next grocery aisle or looked right past us when they saw us or whatever the case might be). I felt like we were pariah, through none of our own actions. It was a very difficult thing to feel abandoned by the majority of people in our “world” – Christians. Even though I grew up in the church and my dad was a pastor, it’s difficult for me now to see the church as a place of friendship or solace.
I think there is lack of teaching in the church on how to help those who grieve deeply. There’s more of a sense of “God will provide” or “God will heal,” when WE are the hands and feet of God here on earth. People don’t know what to do and haven’t been taught some of the basic, practical things of how to help a parent whose child has died. And so many simply do nothing and wait for us to get better and back to normal. Believe me, I know it’s not an easy thing to do to support a parent whose child has died. It’s not easy on this side, either.
Thank you for your post.
Your words resonate with so many, Rebecca.
Thank-you so much for your thoughts.
You are very welcome. Take heart.
I think my baby was stillborn. At least that was what the doctor told me. Many years later my husband told me the truth. Meanwhile my baby was buried before I was released from the hospital. I had no time to grieve, nor did my husband and I have time to share that loss together. People don’t know how to react. God helped me through, but it was rough for a while. Thank you for your message.
Oh, Marge. Such sadness. Thank-you for sharing that God helped you through.
We often look to people and we should. I guess that would be the perfect church’/family/friend environment. I am gracious (most days) in understanding it does not exist because God knows it doesn’t exist.
All we can do in times like this is rest in God. After all, he put that ability in us to do so. When we do that, without fighting it, we will have peace.
God is a very present help in time of trouble.
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